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A TREATISE ON DELIVERY
ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE NEW
E. N. KIRBY, A.B.
FORMERLY INSTRUCTOR IN RLOCUTION IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND PROFESSOR
OR ELOCUTION AND ORATORY IN BOSTON UNIVERSITY
LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.
THE principles of this treatise are in accord with what may reasonably be called the “New Elocution." The term “New Elocution" describes, in the first place, the style of delivery in vogue among the representative speakers of today, and in the second place, the method employed by the best teachers of the subject. The style of delivery, especially since the oratory of Wendell Phillips and Henry Ward Beecher, has been conversational at basis; that is, it has been simple, direct, varied, and spontaneous.
The new method of teaching lays stress mainly upon mental conditions. It recognizes more fully that man is mind as well as body; and it aims at making the speaker skilful, by attending to the mental, as well as the physical and vocal conditions.
Again, contrary to the usual methods, I have taken up Delivery from the rhetorician's point of view, and have developed it according to the principles of accepted psychology; while from the beginning to the end the practical requirements of the subject have been kept in view. These features, together with the doctrine of the conversational basis, make the method pre-eminently a natural one.
Without attempting to give a full account in this place of the distinguishing features of the book, the author calls special attention to Book II., Chapter 1., on “The Mental Content of Language.”
While the book will greatly benefit any student, it by no means supplants the teacher; for without thorough practice and study, very few persons are able to accurately inspect
their own effort. Then, too, the ability to diagnose one's own or another's needs is comparable to the physician's skill, and is gained only by prolonged practice in teaching. Moreover, to secure the best results, a teacher to illustrate and exemplify the principles will be necessary.
This treatise is adapted to the laboratory method of instruction. The student is taught the principles of the art, the instruments and elements are named, the problems are set, and he is required to experiment for himself under the
eye and ear of the teacher; he is then shown wherein he fails or succeeds. Only as the individual is reached can instruction be made effective; and each teacher as well as student will, soon or late, find out how farcical, without supplementary practice given to the individual, is the attempt to treat large classes.
While presenting the principles, training for physical and vocal development should be given from the start. Each teacher must determine for himself, however, the pedagogical order of the instruction.
This book is the result of much study, and considerable experience in teaching in High Schools, in Harvard University, and in Boston University.
The author sends it out in the belief that it will help many teachers, and will aid in the promotion of good speaking. It will be found best adapted to colleges and preparatory schools.
Although there is very little in this book directly attributable to my former teachers, with pleasure I acknowledge my indebtedness to the late Dean Monroe as a leader in the New Elocution, and as the first teacher to show me the importance of affecting the mental conditions. Wherever due, I have given special credit in the body of the book.